What the hell is my problem with the term, “manual” testing?

My real problem with “manual/automation testing” is not from the use of the word “manual” or “automation” but the confusion and noise that it introduces around testing to be some kind of test execution process, which it is not.

It’s a defocusing term that swiftly shifts the focus from testing craft to test execution mode.
Of course, I (we?) want to use tools to execute or design or assist us with the testing but that’s not everything in testing. 

This distinction between manual & automation essentially misstated the perception of testing to be an execution activity. When non-testers comprehend it as an execution activity, they start thinking of it in terms of some “objects” to execute or some finite steps to complete 

This is the reason behind the “test case addiction”. When people talk of testing in terms of an object instead of investigative activity, this mess increases more. 

We have ourselves created a plastic shop of test case creation & execution and now we feel choked when we hear stakeholders asking and talking only about test cases, automation tools, automation %, test scripts, execution, etc.
Testing is much more than this! 

Okay, you may say: “I don’t care about calling it “manual” or “automated”. I know what I am doing. I don’t care about these terms and I can focus on testing instead of talking about these terms.” That’s fine, but with this, you can only continue to do your job well… 

If we want to make a change where non-testers, stakeholders, developers, etc. understand what testers actually do or can do or what testing actually is; I think it is essential to talk about this.

Else, soon our medicine will be the cause of our future diseases. Bye! 


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